We’re told to be practical with our real estate purchases. Be cautious. Be smart. But what if the smartest move is the one that puts you in the home you want, not the one you’ll settle for because it’s a safer bet financially?

Will you work harder to protect your investment? Cut back in other areas to be able to afford it? When it comes to goal setting, doesn’t a dream home represent the ultimate prize?

“When I buy a house of my own, my wallet will have to open wide. Why? Because the expense is worth it. A house affects so much of your life,” said First Quarter Finance. “Living in a beautiful house improves my mood quite a lot. Excellent location, fine craftsmanship, and plenty of space… it’s worth spending a few extra dollars in my opinion.”

The monthly payment differential

Now no one is suggesting you go out and buy twice the house you can afford. Banks wouldn’t allow that to happen anyway—at least not without a massive down payment. But upping your budget to account for a better location, a larger floorplan, and the kind of amenities that cater to your upscale tastes can make a huge difference without causing financial ruin.

Consider this:

Principal and interest (P&I) on a $200,000 house at four percent is $954.83 per month. Raise that budget to $250,000, and the P&I goes to $1,193.54. Will that $50,000 make the difference between a starter home and a dream home? Maybe not. But in a first-time buyer market, it can greatly improve the location, the space, or both, and all for $238 a month.

P&I on a $400,000 house at four percent is $1909.66. Opt to buy a $500,000 house instead, and you’ll pay $2,387.08 per month. The $477 increase in your monthly payment can make a world of difference in the house you buy, and how you feel about it.

Home ArrangementDon’t go house poor

The term “house poor” sounds awful because it is. If buying the house you want is going to leave you eating ramen and stealing your neighbor’s cable, don’t do it. But if we’re talking the difference between sandwiching it a few days a week at work or going to a Saturday matinee to see the latest blockbuster instead of a Saturday night outing, that’s not much of a sacrifice to love your home.

Money Under 30 makes a solid argument for millennials buying their “forever home” instead of a starter home, but anyone in any life stage can strive for more if they’re willing to make it happen.

Places you can cut back

There are 1,000 ways you can cut to make room in your budget for the home you want. Here are a few that will make an impact.

1. Eating out

A night out in a restaurant is not a novelty. In fact, “Sales at restaurants and bars overtook spending at grocery stores…for the first time ever, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday that dates to 1992, as reported by Bloomberg.”

Cheltenham Short BreaksSo just how much is that? More than $6,000 a person for the average American. Wouldn’t $12,000 make a nice addition to your down payment on your dream home?

According to Forbes, “Americans go out for lunch on average twice a week and spend $10 each time. That means they’re spending $936 annually.” Between two adults, you just found almost $2,000 a year just by bringing your lunch. Will that buy you the estate with the view? Nah. But it’ll get you closer to a home that speaks to you instead of the safe, conservative choice that makes you want to cry.

2. Trade in your car

You don’t necessarily need to get rid of your fancy ride—although it might not be a bad idea to at least consider a model lower if that house is really important to you. You could negotiate a trade for a newer model at your dealership. If you’ve been making your payments on time, you might be able to take advantage of a lower interest rate or a program reserved for preferred customers. Or, if you are currently financing your car, consider leasing. Payments are generally lower, and you might even get an upgraded package out of it.

Fotos de CarrosOr, buy a hybrid. There’s a couple hundred dollars a month in gas you no longer have to buy right there.

3. Sell some stuff

Antique furniture sitting in the corner of the garage, old electronics collecting dust in the attic, and old handbags you’re never going to use again can make you money. Check sites like Huffington Post and Country Living to get an idea of the worth of things like antiques and collectibles. Other things might be eBay worthy. Mashable has a list of the “9 Valuable Things You Didn’t Know Are Lying Around Your House.” (Pokemon cards? Really?)

4. Crowdsource it

Have a birthday, wedding, or anniversary coming up? Let your loved ones contribute to your down payment.

Need more ideas? The Simple Dollar has 100 – yes, 100 – more ways you can cut back and save money. Soon, that dream house will be right around the corner!

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Beat The Summer Heat And Keep Costs Down!

The thermometer has officially hit the high 90’. Our air conditioners are in full force.  Often times this comes with higher utilities costs for homeowners. Here are a few ways to beat the summer heat and keep your costs down.

*Place an oscillating fan in family rooms to help circulate air throughout the house.keeping-cool*Keep your thermostat at a constant temperature, and avoid dropping it too low. Lowering the temperature works your system and costs you money, and it doesn’t cool your home any faster.

*Raise your thermostat 2-3 degrees when you leave for work in the morning if no one will be home during the day.

*Hang insulated curtains; they will actually serve as a barrier to the heat, and try and keep them closed during hot afternoons.

*Install a whole house fan system, this will pull the hot attic air out of the home and cool your home-possibly by a few degrees!

*Change your air conditioner’s filters regularly. Typically once a month. People often forget this!

*Replace your aging units, window units 10-15 years and older should be replaced with energy efficient units. If you have central AC, have the system calibrated and charged yearly, this will keep it running at its top performance.

People ask me…

People ask me…

“What is BHGRE Go Realty all about?”
“What makes you guys different?”
“Why do you guys always seem so chipper?”

Actually, it’s quite simple. 

We believe real estate should be about you, our client. We believe in giving back. We believe marketing should be memorable and beautiful. We believe in premium coffee and premium real estate service. We believe in simplicity. We believe that a real estate company can change the world. And we are!

These are the beliefs that I stand behind to serve you better. When you are ready to make a move, give me a call. Let’s make memories!

How to Stage your Home for a Quicker Sale!

Home staging isn’t a new concept; but it is new to many home sellers. If you’re not familiar with staging, it is the art of highlighting the strengths of your home through strategic design. It can make an enormous impact. In fact, a national survey indicated that staged homes sold on average in 13.8 days, while non-staged homes sold in 30.9 days.

Staging involves furnishing, decorating, outdoor cleanups and ultimately the arrangement of a home in such a way to Staging Colorsattract increased buyer interest. It could be as simple as rearranging your current furniture, photographs, and other accessories or a more involved project where new pieces are brought in to accent what is already in your home.

The goal behind home staging is to make your home look as appealing as possible to buyers and maximize curb appeal for a quick sale at top dollar.

Please take a moment to watch the latest Better Homes and Gardens®Real Estate video and see why staging is so important to the sale of your home. You can also access more educational videos at

I look forward to showing you the benefits of working with a licensed real estate professional who understands the power behind home staging! And together, we will come up with a staging plan that is right for you.

Click here to watch the video

Why you should retire to Raleigh

This comes as no surprise. Raleigh has been ranking pretty high in most lists the past decade. 

Money magazine names Raleigh as one of the five best retirement destinations in the U.S.retirement

The cities are all small or “second” cities that the magazine says have the perks of an urban area without the big-city drawbacks.

“This state capital’s thriving economy and proximity to top universities have long made it a prime relocation destination,” says Money. “It’s not hard to see the draw: Raleigh provides a big-city feel with a low cost of living; mild, four-season weather; and, thanks to all those medical schools, world-class health care.”

Other cities that made the top-five list are Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; St. Petersburg, Florida and Boise, Idaho.

Way to go Raleigh!! 

 Managing Editor-Triangle Business Journal